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15 Ways New Mexico Wins At Craft Beer

By DukeCity 02/05/2015

Albuquerque News

In New Mexico, we love local business, local food and local beer, which makes us "Locacervezaphiles", according to Jon Stott, a researcher who wrote "New Mexico Beer: A History of Brewing in The Land of Enchantment." In many ways, New Mexico is the frontier of beer, where innovation and craftsmanship are practiced by skilled pioneers and supported by people who passionately want to see them succeed.

New Mexico's craft brewing history dates back to 1855.

According to Stott, a brewery in Santa Fe made the news 160 years ago when it was destroyed by a flood. In the ensuing two decades, 14 breweries popped up in the state, although many of them survived for less than three years. Before Prohibition, Southwest Brewery and Ice Company was the largest brewery in the southwest.

Modern craft brewing in New Mexico started in 1988.


After a rough start, the industry has gained considerable momentum since President Jimmy Carter legalized small brewing operations, and Michael Levis started Santa Fe Brewing Company in a farmhouse in Galisteo. 

New Mexico now boasts 35 breweries.


The Land of Enchantment ranks 12th in the country for microbreweries per capita!

The beer industry in New Mexico provides more than 10,000 jobs and $800,000,000 in annual economic impact.


According to the Beer Institute's Beer Research Center, the beer industry directly employs 6,570 people in New Mexico alone, generating $362 million in economic impact. Its activity generates 4,170 jobs for suppliers and services, which generates $474 million in economic impact. This activity raises over $200 million in revenue for the public across the state, which helps to pay for our parks, roads, and schools.

Sales of microbrews are growing 15 times as fast as macrobrews.


Microbrew sales are growing 15% annually in New Mexico, while sales of regular beers like Bud Light are only growing 1% annually. This is a big sign that craft beer is here to stay.

Downtown Albuquerque features its own "Brewery District"


“It’s a depressed industrial area, and the breweries are really kind of turning it around, and that’s similar to what’s happening in other areas of the state,” Sen. Tim Keller, D-Albuquerque, told the Albuquerque Journal. 

New Mexico is home to the only beer in the country that is brewed by monks.


The Abbey Breweing Company at Christ in the Desert monastery, outside Abiquiú, is known for their Monk's Ale, brewed using a strain of yeast from a monastery in Belgium. The monks brew their beer using hops grown on site!

New Mexican brewers are the best at incorporating local ingredients.


Brewers use local ingredients like pecans, chile, pumpkins, and wildflower honey to make unique, delicious suds.

Its homegrown! Researchers are finding ways to grow hops in New Mexico.


According to New Mexico State University, "Kevin Lombard began studying 16 varieties of hops as a potential specialty crop in 2008 when an international shortage of hops caused pelletized hops prices to rise 10-fold. The hops volatility led Four Corners brewers and growers to view hops as an opportunity to diversify farming operations and they asked the NMSU Agricultural Science Center at Farmington to determine the feasibility of producing locally grown hops."

Growlers everywhere!


99 growlers of beer on the wall! Take one down, pass it around, now it's 98 growlers of beer on the wall!

If you give a Burqueno a craft beer, he's probably going to want a food truck as well.


Beer can give you a serious case of the munchies. Food trucks are the cure. This is a case of perfect synergy.

With beer comes good times and music!


Beer is a catalyst that helps people get together and have a good time, and our best local musicians know this well.

New Mexicans are the best at celebrating craft beer.


With events like Albuquerque Beer Week, Brews & Blues, the Yards Premiere, and many beer dinners, nobody knows how to party with beer like we do.

New Mexican craft beer is the perfect partner for New Mexican food.


What better match for the heat and flavor of chile than a cold, rich beer?